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Business goes as usual for IT Companies in Chennai despite TsunamiViews: 199
Jan 01, 2005 5:02 amBusiness goes as usual for IT Companies in Chennai despite Tsunami#

Govind Srinivasan
Despite tsunamis, outsourcers stay in Chennai
Their facilities were far enough inland to avoid damage

News Story by John Ribeiro

DECEMBER 30, 2004 (IDG NEWS SERVICE) - Indian outsourcing companies that have operations in Chennai, one of the locations on the southeast coast of India that was hit by tsunamis on Sunday, have decided to stay in the city.

The operations of outsourcing companies in Chennai weren't disrupted by the tsunamis, and their employees have been able to get to work without much difficulty, according to reports from those companies. But there is still considerable anxiety in the city and neighboring areas that the aftershocks of Sunday's earthquake could trigger more tsunamis.

Wipro Ltd. in Bangalore, for example, uses its facility in Chennai as one of two backup sites in the country for its own corporate data as well as customer data from its facilities across India. Its other backup site is in Bangalore.

"We have no plans to move the backup facility from Chennai, because the facility is sufficiently inland and not at risk," said a spokesman for Wipro. For customers who want the service, Wipro also offers data backup at centers abroad.

In view of the border dispute in the north of India between India and Pakistan, a number of Indian outsourcing companies beefed up operations in Chennai, since that city was thought to be a safer location in the event of a war between the two countries.

The Marina beach at Chennai was hit by the tsunamis, and a large number of people were killed there. But the largest impact from the disaster was on other coastal areas of eastern India, where the primary economic activities are fishing and tourism.

A number of Indian outsourcing companies, including Wipro, Bangalore-based Infosys Technologies Ltd. and Mumbai-based Tata Consultancy Services Ltd., have software development operations in Chennai because it is easier and cheaper to hire staff in that city than it is in neighboring Bangalore. Wipro, for example, has about 1,500 employees at its software development facility in Chennai.

Infosys doesn't plan to move its software development facility out of Chennai in the wake of the devastation caused by the tsunamis, according to a spokeswoman for the company. The facility is about five miles from the coast, and there was no damage or water seepage in the center, according to a statement from Infosys. The company's disaster recovery facility is inland, in Mauritius.

Other companies with facilities in Chennai have indicated they will continue to operate in the city.

Source: www.computerworld.com

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